Payola – or a tax cut?

In Canberra they don’t read Popbitch – but they love the Rehame
Federal Report, the chart of the number of mentions members of the
Commonwealth Parliament have got in the last week.

And it’s
pretty bad news when you’re Shadow Treasurer – or that’s your title,
anyway – and your performance is even worse than Fiona Apple’s second
album.

Yup. That’s right, Simon Crean hasn’t even managed to rate in the top forty most-mentioned Federal politicians for the week.

Is
he a dud? That shouldn’t hold him back. Jim Lloyd is on the list, after
all. And it wasn’t the winner of Australian Idol who got Paris Hilton.

No.
We suspect the reason Crean isn’t charting is that the hitmakers won’t
put him on high rotation. They’ve heard his tune down at Centenary
House – and pulled the plug on him.

How many times have we
said it? The big on values, small on economic specifics strategy that
Labor are running just won’t get them across the line if they have to
carry Crean.

Indeed, looking at the Federal Report, one
gets the impression Labor either simply hasn’t got an economic or a tax
policy – or the one they sketched out on the back of a napkin has
become far too expensive because Howard’s spending has stretched the
envelope way too far.

Crean isn’t the only Labor figure
conspicuous by his absence from this week’s Top 40. Finance spokesman
Bob McMullan and assistant Shadow Treasurer and Revenue Minister David
Cox don’t rate a mention either.

The charts are usually
about street cred – but the Rehame Top 40 suggest that Labor’s hitting
the wrong note if it wants to win fans amongst the business and finance
community.

The only performer they have is Mark
Latham. A one man band. And as we saw on Lateline last week, when you
try to play all the economic instruments by yourself all at once, you
end up with the wrong number.

Who’s hot, who’s not: The Rehame Top 40 Pols

Rank Name Mentions Mentions –
last report
Rank –
last report
1 John Howard 4223 4958 1
2 Mark Latham 3623 4577 2
3 Alexander Downer 672 1083 4
4 Tony Abbott 646 491 10
5 Peter Costello 605 651 6
6 Kevin Rudd 469 472 11
7 Kim Beazley 459 1657 3
8 Helen Coonan 417 445 12
9 John Anderson 397 309 15
10 Ian Campbell 341 584 8
11 Robert Hill 320 604 7
12 Larry Anthony 248 50 51
13 Warren Truss 245 367 13
14 Chris Ellison 212 218 22
15 Lindsay Tanner 205 115 30
16 Julia Gillard 191 53 48
17 Wayne Swan 184 31 68
18 Mark Vaile 177 105 31
19 Bob Brown 175 322 14
20 Philip Ruddock 169 249 20
21 Jim Lloyd 163 230 21
22 Robert McClelland 156 17 97
23 Sharman Stone 147 164 27
24 Geoff Prosser 143 8 118
25 Eric Abetz 140 68 40
26 Kay Patterson 138 25 80
27 Nick Minchin 134 194 23
28 Meg Lees 122 23 84
29 Amanda Vanstone 121 515 9
30 Brendan Nelson 114 178 25
31 David Kemp 106 839 5
32 Natasha Stott Despoja 89 31 68
33 Julia Irwin 84 39 61
34 Jenny Macklin 77 20 92
34 Mal Brough 77 274 17
36 Fran Bailey 66 271 18
37 Nicola Roxon 61 4 141
38 Andrew Bartlett 60 168 26
39 De Anne Kelly 59 31 68
40 Martin Ferguson 58 26 76
40 Stephen Conroy 58 50 51
40 Teresa Gambaro 58 46 54

Christian Kerr can be contacted at [email protected]